Sweetness and Light

So I finally, finally, found this pattern in my size:


Fear not, I will not be making View A OR View C, because puffed sleeves give me hives. Unless the puffed sleeves are little pockets of lighter-than-air gas that I can control as a flotation device/personal aircraft, and unfortunately the lab prototypes have not really panned out in full trials. (“Oh the humanity!”)

But *without* the puffed sleeves (or, as I like to call them, “arm excrescences”) this dress is gorgeous, isn’t it? I’ve been looking for it for a while, and I’m thinking about making it in this blue gingham shirting that I jumped on a while back. Too Dorothy? Actually, scratch that, I don’t care.

In this illustration, what’s up with Black Chiffon? Did she not get the “Dress Code: cotton” memo? Has she been embarrassingly interrupted on a walk of shame? Is she the “evil twin” of the woman in the blue dress? Is she an official-and-licensed Black Widow and thus compelled to wear fancy black dresses at all times, as a warning/enticement? Or, as I like to think, just someone who really likes that dress and thought “I don’t care that it’s Saturday morning and I’m on my way to the grocery store: black chiffon it is!”


Vogue 9929 is My New Jam

So I posted about this new-to-me pattern a couple weeks ago, and haven’t posted since because I am just too busy making more of them. I’ve made (mumble-mumble, counting on fingers) five? since that first one, and I have another one cut out on the sewing table. Yeah. It’s that kind of dress — so easy to make, and best of all, in the new (shorter) skirt length, it can be made up in just under two yards of fabric, two and a half if it’s 44″ or under. Which means there’s SO MANY pieces of fabric in my stash that were too small for my shirtdress phase that are all jumping up and down shouting “make me! make me!”

Like this one:

New Vogue 9929

This is an old piece of seersucker that I’ve had *forever*. Every couple of years I’d haul it out, thinking “surely there’s enough for THIS project” only to be sadly disappointed — until now.

Likewise this piece of lovely heavy cotton — I think it was bought from the Britex remnant table in a spasm of hope:


Here it is a little closer:

I didn’t do the self-bias trim on this version, since the fabric was so heavy and stiff — this is finished (by machine, even!) with plain ol’ white bias tape.

This dress is great for biking to work; the skirt is easy to pedal in, and being sleeveless, it’s nice and cool on the bike, but I can cover up with a cardigan in the office. And it’s easy to dress down with sneakers, or make fancier with a belt and nicer shoes.

More pictures this week as I wear more of the new versions …


You're glowing!

I love this so very, very much:

(The way it makes you look as if you only have one arm is way cool, isn’t it?)

Unfortunately, I don’t love this TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS much, which is what it’s currently going for at The Outnet. (Jebus, who spends two large on a dress you’re not getting married in? I do not understand. And that’s ON SALE!)

I love glow-in-the-dark stuff. I had a necklace-and-earrings set in junior high (that I used to wear at the movies) … I still have the necklace, although all the glow-juice has worn off. I currently have a glow-in-the-dark watch, although I never remember to wear it (and I go to fewer movies now, and it’s not so funny to glow in the movies now that everyone is glowing as they check their iPhones when the plots start to drag).

I’d love to find some glow-in-the-dark lining fabric to use under a black lace for a dress. In the daytime it would look just like a normal lining, and at night you would look like a city nightscape! Perfect.¬†Sadly, it looks like glow in the dark fabric is really expensive. Anyone know of a better source?


Is it hot out where you are? I won’t incur the wrath of everyone east, north, and south of the Rockies by telling you how nice it is in the Bay Area. But if it’s hot where you are, you really need this dress:

Especially because it has these adorable pockets:

I’m not a huge fan of purple but I love the Easter colorway in this dress. Especially with that chartreuse-y green …

Click on the images to visit this dress at LuciteBox.com … Holly is having a sale to help replace her broken bike, use the code BIKE at checkout to get 25% off!

And the winner is … (turned out to be "and the winners are")

Wow! Thank you all so much for all the fantastic subtitle suggestions last week! I totally believe that “wisdom of crowds” thing now.

It was hard to choose, but here were my top three (I couldn’t choose just one!):

The Hundred Dresses; A Field Guide to Fashionable Frocks

(from Natalie)

The Hundred Dresses: What to wear for espionage, play dates, and everything in between

(from Joelle)

The Hundred Dresses; or Why You Need a Bigger Closet

(from Karen S.)

Would you three wonderful women please email me with your addresses so I can send you your prizes?

Of course, the book will probably only have one subtitle, and the choice is up to the publisher, but with so many excellent suggestions, something good has to stick!

And, for no apparent reason, here is a picture I took of a giant collection of Muppet fur this past weekend. Enjoy.
muppet fur

New Dress

So this pattern was stuck in the back of a box and I unearthed it a while back:

Vogue 9929

It’s a really pretty dress, isn’t it? Although it looks as if pink dress is suffering from unrequited love for Blue Jacket. And the leprechaun version is a bit unusual. But I digress.

I looked at this pattern and thought, “Huh, I bet this would be fast to make, and it would fit.” And lo and behold:

Vogue 9929 in the flesh

I bought the fabric yonks ago on eBay — it’s cotton satin, and if it weren’t so lightweight, I’d say it was supposed to be upholstery fabric, or that maybe it’s from Ikea. Either way, I don’t care, because it’s really, really pretty.

This dress is definitely going to be made again — I have to make the pockets a little deeper (you can see how they stick out slightly here, with the bulk of my wallet, phone, pocket notebook, lipstick, etc. in them) and the skirt should be about two-three inches shorter. I may even take this hem out and re-do it, this length is a little dowdy. I think this pattern is perfect for Liberty Tana Lawn, especially with a very deep hem to give it some weight, so that’s what I’ll probably try next.

The only tricky part was getting enough bias tape to finish the neck and armholes out of the limited yardage I had — so it’s pieced in several places. Luckily, you can’t really tell. I also had to cheat a bit on the waist of the bodice … those side seams are 1/4″, instead of 5/8″, because I didn’t exactly check what the wearing ease was before I made it. The nice thing about a gathered skirt is that it’s very forgiving of this kind of math error. But this sucker fits pretty closely, now …

The flowers look red in some lights and pink in others, but it’s a true deep raspberry, and (I think) really pretty. The background is a taupe-y gray, so my gray Keds aren’t the best match, but I’m riding my bike in this dress today, and Keds are safer & more comfortable. Skinny belt is from H&M, watch is a silver-taupe Swatch that *does* match (unlike the Keds), and I’m wearing a black leather bracelet (which you can’t really see). I also put a black cotton cardigan on top of this, for work.

I will have an update and the winners of the Book Subtitle Contest early next week … I may be looking for beta readers, too, if you are interested drop me an email! Many eyes make light typos.

"Address of O. P. Riegel"

Who is O. P. Riegel, you ask? He was, in 1921, an executive of the McCall Pattern Company, and he gave an address that was covered by America’s Textile Reporter, which is probably now my new favorite magazine. Here’s part of his address to the Mid-Year meeting of Jobber’s Association of Dress Fabric Buyers (oh that is straight out of an O. Henry story!), held at the Waldorf Astoria; you can read the whole thing here.
America's Textile Reporter

This seems to cover the birth of the printed pattern. So cool.